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When I was about 10, my family and I sat down together to watch a television movie. It was Jane Eyre starring George C. Scott as the brooding Mr. Rochester. I was hooked; I loved Mr. Rochester, I loved Jane, I loved the moving score by John Williams.The Berkshire Eagle announces the premiere of a theatre play with some Brontë references:
Later, I pulled my mother's school copy of the novel from the bookshelf and started reading. My 10-year-old self was shocked to find that the book started with scenes not shown in the movie (I had no idea then how movies could chop up great stories). After reading the book, I found that I loved reading Jane Eyre even more than watching the movie.
While reading the book for this review, I asked myself why the book is so appealing to me. The story is not without its flaws; it is hugely contrived with plot twists that are not plausible. Certainly the gothic romance aspects of the novel were fascinating to me as a teenager, but there is so much more to it than that. Then late one night while reading I had an epiphany: I want Jane Eyre for my new BFF.
Why would anyone want to be best friends with a character from an early 19th-century novel? There are many reasons. Jane is kind; after she turns on her aunt and is sent to boarding school, she becomes one of the most compassionate heroines in fiction. I could always count on her to be there for me.
Jane is honest; she tells Mr. Rochester he is not handsome and tells the reader that she (Jane) is not beautiful. She understands her own flaws and is forthright about them. I know she would tell me if my new haircut was a mistake.
Jane is loyal; she stays true to Mr. Rochester. I don't think I would ever have to find a new BFF. And Jane is forgiving (see the above about Mr. Rochester; also take note that she forgave her cruel aunt.)
Jane is a listener; she listens while everyone around her talks. I would love to have someone like her listen raptly as I chattered on and on. And Jane is moral; even in the depth of her love for Mr. Rochester she leaves him rather than become his mistress. She would never suggest we go clubbing.
But the No. 1 reason I want Jane as my best friend is that she is interesting. What a wonderfully intriguing (if not real) life she has lived. What a great way she has of telling a story. (Yes, I know it is actually Charlotte Brontë telling the story, but still…) Can you imagine getting a phone call from her saying, "Wait until I tell you what just happened!"?
I still enjoy watching all the Jane Eyre movies. There are many — the newest one will star Ellen Page (Juno), and I look forward to seeing it. But I'm sure it will not be as good as the book. (Lesley Cunningham)
Karen Zacarias' "The Book Club Play," which opens tonight on the Berkshire Theatre Festival Main Stage after three nights of previews, is ostensibly about literature and six members of a book club — Lily (Cherise Boothe), Alex (Bhavesh Patel), Will (Tom Story), Rob (C.J. Wilson), Jen (Anne Louise Zachary) and Ana (Keira Naughton). Their love of books carries them from Harry Potter, "Pat the Bunny," "Jurassic Park," "Son of Tarzan" and "Chicken Soup for the Soul" to Hemingway, Cervantes, Joyce, Nabakov[sic], The Brontes, Shakespeare, Angelou, Tolstoy and Margaret Mitchell.The Oakland Tribune correspondant to the British Open Championship 2008 has a strange idea of what Wuthering Heights looks like:
Most clubhouses at old British courses are directly out of Mary Poppins or Wuthering Heights, all brick and gables. Birkdale's is a Rubic's cube of a structure, various blocks with two huge picture windows. (Art Spander)Winged Ink posts an article about Anne Carson's The Glass Essay:
I'm posting my piece I wrote about it, which was originally published in the New Zealand Poetry Society magazine, A Fine Line (May 2008). (...)The poem can be read here.
The final reason I love The Glass Essay is because it inspires me. It was either during or immediately after reading this poem that I sat down and wrote my own Emily Brontë poem, ‘Passion’. The idea for it had been sloshing around in my head for some time, but I hadn’t known how to write it. Reading The Glass Essay unlocked something, and it just poured out.